Office Stress: His vs. Hers

Paul FennerLifestyle

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This is a rather personal post for me since my wife maintains a full-time career.  Stress is something that my wife and I have had to deal with our entire careers and especially since we had our triplets nearly 4.5 years ago.  I speak to a lot of couples who face similar issues in trying to find some balance in life.  However, does life balance really exist?  As I have grown older I don’t think that it does.

To be more specific I find that there is always something tugging at most people’s lives.  For me, clients may need me more one day, while other days my kids or wife may need me more.  I can’t think of a time when life was in ever really “in-balance”.  I have tried to come to accept this “in-balance” and find ways to handle the stress so it doesn’t adversely affect my health.

Chronic Tension Hurts Mental Clarity
  • Women feel especially stuck and tense, the association survey indicates. Thirty-two percent of women said their employers don’t provide sufficient opportunities for internal advancement, compared with 30% of men. Women are more likely to feel tense during a typical workday, reporting more often that their employer doesn’t appreciate what they do.
  • Emotional responses to stress often divide along gender lines, with men more likely to have a “fight or flight” reaction while women are more likely to have a “tend and befriend” response, seeking comfort in relationships and care of loved ones, according to research by Shelley E. Taylor, health psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and others.
  • Physician David Posen says, “Chronic stress reduces all of the things that help productivity—mental clarity, short-term memory, decision-making and moods.”
  • Physically, the body responds to stress by secreting hormones into the bloodstream that spur accelerated heart rate and breathing and tensing of muscles. People who experience stress as a positive often have increased blood flow to the brain, muscles and limbs, similar to the effects of aerobic exercise. Those who feel frightened or threatened, however, often have an erratic heart rate and constricting blood vessels. Their blood pressure rises and hands and feet may grow cold. They may become agitated, speak more loudly or experience lapses in judgment.

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